Sultanate sees 200 pc rise in tourist arrivals

Muscat: The number of tourists coming to the Sultanate increased by nearly 200 per cent from 1.3 million in 2009 to 3.1 million in 2018, it was revealed by a top aviation official at the recently-held World Travel Awards.

“This performance is the result of the national diversification strategy of the last decade, according to which tourism is the key pillar of the non-oil economy,” Shaikh Aimen bin Ahmed al Hosni, CEO, Oman Airports
The numbers were revealed at the World Travel Awards, which were held for the first time in Oman at the Royal Opera House Muscat, attended by 600 representatives from global airlines and hospitality sectors, including 300 foreign delegates, many of them visiting the country for the first time.

The number of hotels in Oman has increased from 224 in 2009 to 412 in 2018, offering nearly 22,000 hotel rooms to date. The passenger volumes through airports in Oman increased from 6.2 million in 2009 to 17.2 million in 2018, with 32 airlines flying to 77 destinations.

All airports in Oman would have catered to around 18 million passengers by the year-end, Al Hosni told the Observer.

Graham Cooke, founder and president of World Travel Awards, said, “We choose Oman as it is the emerging destination with amazing infrastructure… After seeing various Omani companies win so many awards, I am confident that the Sultanate is leading the way towards enhancing the performance of its travel and tourism sectors, to become one of the most important sources of its economic income.”